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NLIS 7
September 15, 2006
(Education)
 

Two new schools announced for Western School District

Education Minister Joan Burke joined Wally Young, MHA for the District of St. Barbe, and Don Brown, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Western School Board, in Port Saunders today to announce the construction of two new K-12 schools in the Western School District, one for Port Saunders on the Northern Peninsula, and the other for L’Anse au Loup in southern Labrador.

"Construction of new schools for these areas has been identified as high priorities for the Western School Board," said Minister Burke. "Planning will begin immediately on the state-of-the-art learning centres which will offer students from many communities on the Northern Peninsula and in southern Labrador every opportunity to succeed."

The construction of two new schools represents a combined investment of approximately $14 million.

"A new K to 12 school in Port Saunders is by far the best option to provide the highest quality of education for all students in the region," said St. Barbe MHA Wally Young. "This new school will provide a more comfortable learning environment as well as enhanced educational opportunities for all students."

"Labrador is embarking on an exciting new era of prosperity and our young people will lead the way," said John Hickey, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs. "This new school will help develop the young minds of our future leaders."

Minister Burke also announced that up to $150,000 is being provided to assess a redevelopment of Canon Richards High School in Flower’s Cove.

Board chair, Don Brown was enthusiastic about the announcements. "This will mean important educational improvements in the Labrador Straits, the Flower's Cove area, and the Tri-town area of our district," said Mr. Brown. "We are so pleased that government has responded positively to the board's long-term educational plan for these areas. Our children will benefit from improved educational opportunities in these regions. On behalf of the trustees of the Western School District, I commend government for its commitment to education."

School districts in every region of the province are working with government to address the realities of a declining birth rate, out-migration and declining enrolments. Boards are now involved in a long-term capital planning process with a focus on two basic goals: to maximize learning opportunities and to provide excellent facilities for all students.

"In total, government is investing $37 million this year in school construction. This is in addition to the millions being invested in curriculum development, bus safety and healthy living initiatives. We are committed to providing the highest quality learning opportunities for our young people, no matter where they live. Students who attend school in Forteau, L’Anse au Loup, West St. Modeste, Port au Choix, Port Saunders and Hawke’s Bay deserve every opportunity we can give them. With the construction of new facilities in Port Saunders and L’Anse au Loup, the students will attend two of the most modern facilities in the province," said Minister Burke.

The minister expects both schools to be ready to open by September 2009.

Media contact: Jacquelyn Howard, Communications, (709) 729-0048, 689-2624

2006 09 15                                   11:30 a.m.


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